Ontario Election: The Candidates

Before I start beating up on people, I want to take a minute to go over what’s going on here. I know, this is basic stuff, but it’ll become important later.

The way Canada’s national and provincial election systems work, you’re asked to vote for which of various candidates in your riding you want to represent you in parliament. The candidate with the most votes wins the seat and a vote in government. You’re picking your representative.

Candidates are generally affiliated with a political party. Parties are kind of a bundle of values and ideals and come with their own histories and internal politics. I get the impression that most people completely disregard who the people running are and vote for the party.

And in a way that makes sense. The party that gets the most seats forms the government and the party leader leads that government. The leader has a lot of power, even though they’re not directly elected.

That kinda rubs me the wrong way. I have to think about who’s going to represent me.

Liz Whitmer (Progressive Conservative)

Ms Whitmer is the incumbent in the riding. She’s held it for 17 years. I have the distinct feeling she’s going to hold it for another four.

Liz Whitmer really bothered me in previous election campaigns. Given my feelings about the Mike Harris government, that probably isn’t that much of a surprise, but she came across as really smug and slimy.

This time, though, I’m not getting that vibe as much. I suppose running as the opposition is easier than running for the governing party.

I’m still not going to vote for her. There was a time when I might have considered voting PC, but even though the Conservative platform is a far cry from what it was in the Mike Harris years, I’m pretty sure their values don’t align with mine. At all.

Louise Ervin (Liberal)

Disclaimer: I got involved in this election a little earlier than most. I am currently a card-carrying member of the Ontario Liberal party. Dalton McGuinty sends me email. I signed up because a friend of a friend of a friend was running for the Liberal candidacy. I actually thought he was pretty good, too. Better than Ms Ervin, anyway.

No sour grapes, though. I’m probably the biggest Liberal apologist in the world, and if they field a halfway-decent candidate, I’ll vote for them. One of the things that bugs me about the Liberal party, though, is they have a tendency of fielding less-than-decent candidates.

I’m not terribly impressed with the Dalton McGuinty government over the last four years. While they didn’t make things much worse, I was kinda hoping they’d do something to try to fix some of the damage Mike Harris did, including and especially start fixing the fiscal situation for municipalities. They haven’t. So colour me disappointed. They have promised things I like, like an impressive public transit program. I don’t particularly mind giving them another chance. I’d vote for the Liberal party if that was what I was asked. What I’m being asked, however, is who I want to represent me.

I don’t want Louise Ervin representing me. She’s pretty awful. From what I can tell she doesn’t have any ideas of her own. She’s a Liberal pit bull wannabe, and an incredibly ineffective one at that. What’s more, her main public service credential–trustee on the Catholic school board–makes her outrage over John Tory’s proposal to fund private religious schools hard to swallow.

So I’m not voting for her, either.

to be continued…